The taste of home.
Once upon a time, during a golden year of my childhood, my mom made this soup and it forever imprinted itself on my life. It became the most potent taste of home and security and coziness I have any association with. She left a successful career to stay at home and poured all her energies into creating the most welcoming and comforting place for us -and I am so grateful for that. She subscribed to a cooking school who mailed image-filled recipes that slowly populated binders. My sister and I would pour over them in amazement that these fabulous dishes could be created -and created by us. Mom would let us take turns helping her select and prepare the recipes. She was also on a homemade bread kick, making french bread and whole wheat loaves from scratch. The smells that filled our house -oh, unbelievable!
With candles lit, our places set, the Alaskan sun long since set in the winter months, and after the blessing we would have conversation over these amazing meals. One of them was a creamy potato and broccoli soup, paired with Mama’s fresh baked bread. I don’t know why this dish, of all the dishes she made, held such a potent place in my sense memory. But it did. Maybe it was that particular dinner, that certain day it was served. Maybe it was the simplicity and creaminess of the soup. Whatever the reason, I make it now -plant-based instead of with butter/milk/cream- and it still makes me feel the exact same. Almost 30 years later.
Plant-Based Creamy Potato+Broccoli Soup:
(I am an eye-baller. I like to cook intuitively, which totally sucks for recipes, but I promise you that this is a snap to make and yours will turn out splendiferously.)
Gold potatoes, diced and rinsed (enough to fill half your pot)
-chop these suckers up and let them boil in enough water to cover them until they are tender and easily mashable.
-drain the water
Vegetable stock or broth, add enough to cover the potatoes
-mash the potatoes, leaving a good amount of chunks but enough mash to create a creamy base for the soup.
1 crown broccoli, dice the stems and pull the big trees apart into little, bite-size (or smaller) trees. Place in the pot and mix around.
1/2 sweet onion, diced
-pan cook these until golden brown on the edges, save and add to soup. I cook them without oil and they turn out great, just keep your eye on them and don’t let them burn to the pan.
Unflavored Soy, rice or almond milk, pour until you get your desired consistency. I like a fair amount in, but not so much that it’s thin and watery.
-Cook the soup on low heat for about 20 min until the broccoli cooks through.
Season with salt, pepper and a few dashes of nutmeg. Careful with the nutmeg, a little goes a long way, so taste your way through it. And I like mine quite peppery -if you like zip and spice, try it a little on the heavy side (OR -tasters tip- spoon out a cup for yourself and play with the seasonings so you don’t spoil the whole pot.)
You may want to add more soy/rice/nut milk after it’s had time to cook since potatoes absorb so much.
May you enjoy this taste of home in your cozy space (insert a string of heart emojis….)